Since I believe that this discussion has merit, I have decided to split it out into its own thread and I would ask the moderators allow at least some reasonable “community” discussion about this important topic.
In the previous thread a reply was “hidden”, (and potentially removed), despite the fact that it had already had accumulated several likes, including one of my own.
I see the issue being a lack of clarity and transparency in the removal process, as well as the definition of “acceptable” being defined by the most easily offended among us.
I am sure we all agree that it is necessary to “be adult” about things and treat others with the same courtesy and consideration we want ourselves.
Obviously we should avoid:
Deliberately inflammatory language.
Agressive tone of voice.
Disrespectful or insulting behavior.
And behavior like that.
However, it appears to me that the removal process is driven by “the least common denominator”, (i.e. The people with the thinnest skin who take insult at the tiniest things.)
Having done that, (IMHO =>), perfectly reasonable posts are removed because the “community objects” when it may only be a small number of people who don’t like it.
I propose the following:
If a topic or reply is hidden, people be allowed to view it as is currently done.
Community members may then vote against removal by “liking” the posting.
If possible, these “likes” should NOT count against a user’s quota of likes and users who have already exhausted their quota be allowed to vote anyway.
Once a reply is given a certain number of “likes”, it is automatically restored and cannot be hidden by other members.
Hidden replies should be given a reasonable amount of time to accumulate positive votes, measured in days, preferably a minimum of one week.
If the posting is considered potentially objectionable, the poster should be advised in a kind and pleasant way, and offered the possibility to edit the posting himself.
Moderator edits should be strongly discouraged and should be a last resort.
Absolute removal, (as opposed to hiding), should be an absolute last resort for particularly vile examples.
Of course particularly egregious replies are subject to immediate action.
One point that I would like to make, (in my own situation for example), posts were flagged and I was given a harsh system warning instead of a polite message saying that what I had done - in all innocence - was not acceptable.
This kind of advice is invaluable because what is perfectly innocent Sunday-School language in one country or culture might be incredibly offensive in another.
Rather than a “Bad boy! (spanking)”, a polite “Your post was flagged because in some cultures “phrase” is considered an insult and could be mis-interpreted.”
This provides the necessary control and gives the user valuable feedback as to what was wrong, how to correct it and what to avoid in the future.
Please understand that I am not trying to criticize the moderators here - it’s a thankless job, (I’ve done it myself), and can be stressful.
All I want to suggest is that it appears that people are too thin skinned sometimes, messages appear to be flagged inappropriately, and there seems, (at least to me), a lack of clarity in why a message was deemed offensive.
Why do you need the approval or voting of others to develop your own opinion about a post or an idea in your life? On the other hand what matters is the content, not the way this idea is written in a forum. This is one of the worstly moderated forums I have ever seen in my life. The main target of moderation here is to keep game image healthy not to maintain an open minded community where disagreements and criticism are not seen as a threat but as a way to improve.
I believe that it is possible to keep a healthy game image and encourage an open minded community.
I believe that the key to this is to remind people that different people, languages and cultures express themselves differently and remember that the flight simulator community is diverse. If someone says something YOU don’t like, you have likely said something THEY didn’t like too. We need to not be hyper-critical about what other people say. Rather we need to come together and enjoy our common passion for the simulator.
I am totally upset by the tagging process here. I have never ever said anything offensive to anyone and I have been on this forum for over 760 days continuously and feel afraid to make comments anymore. This is after being censored for a simple suggestion to someone to think of their loss if they leave the sim or use of a craft that I love. The post came to me with no explanation and no link for feedback, why oh why does this happen.
Flagging is not harmless to me,sorry.
There is no universally effective solution to forum moderation.
Due to the vast range of cultural and personal variations, someone will always disapprove because it infringes their perception of what should be.
Forums must be run as a dictatorship, not as a democracy, or the vast range of cultural and personal variations will simply bring chaos.
If you fall victim to either automated or human moderation, just go with the flow, do as you are asked and move on.
One of the problems with forums is clearly illustrated by this reply from you.
My post is not a reply to you at all.
We were both typing at the same time and it looks like you posted a moment or two before I did.
It shows just how easily someone can be upset by assuming that something is the case, when in point of fact it is not.
For the record, I have also been moderated by a bot that detected a word that it had been programmed to censor.
I merely returned to the post, removed that word, saved it, it was restored and I moved on.
I was mildly irritated but soon got over myself.
This is why we all need to accept this and other forums for what they are, even when our feathers have been ruffled.
this is democracy what neds to be taken to account. I can flag your post because it is absolutelly not within my feelings and it disturb to me. What then will be your feeling about that your flageed post? It looks not arogant, no any problem but you’ll have it flagged. You can only guess or do stay satisfied with that democracy. I must agree with @ AncientDisc6642 because then it can be chaos, like IRL. I had same experience with my posts flagged in history, what you ca do? Thousands people, thousands opinions, feelings…
Absolutely, and that’s my point. People should realize that in a world-wide and diverse culture, someone is going to get their toes stepped on, no matter how hard you try to be polite and professional.
What needs to happen is that people understand that sometimes “offensive” speech isn’t intended to be offensive - and may be perfectly appropriate in the poster’s culture.
I can’t really agree with that statement in this context.
“Community standards” should be defined by the community and the community should have the majority of the input on what these standards are.
The job of the moderators isn’t to act as censors, but rather it is to make sure all the differing cultures understand and respect each other, even if they don’t necessarily agree.
Yes, you can never please all of the people all of the time with the comments you choose to post. Someone, somewhere is always going to take offence and that’s often when things start to get out of hand.
I agree with you on this but not on your point that forums should be run as a dictatorship. I have been a member of another flight sim forum myself which was run in just this way. I don’t believe that I am a thin skinned individual at all but I did eventually become quite guarded in my postings as a result of the dictatorial manner in which the forum was run. The fact that the forum allowed ‘dislikes’ too was also a bit ‘off-putting’ too. I eventually left because of just this heavy handed moderation.
I think that a good forum should promote friendly advice, comradery, focus and open mindedness with an emphasis on members being respectful of each other. I think that moderators should aim to step in when these objectives are being compromised.
For what it’s worth, I think that the flagging system here is a good idea since there is a good chance that disrespectful comments are flagged and this provides a quick way for the moderators to take action if required. People can also choose whether to look at the hidden post or not. My guess is that most people will take a quick peek just out of curiosity.
In my opinion, the moderation guidelines and system of operating here is quite good and not too heavy handed even if I do wonder at times why some threads criticising FS20 do occasionally seem to get shut down pretty quickly
“Thin skinned” should be hyphenated! Sorry I got flagged for calling out spelling and grammar in the past.
But seriously I agree mostly with your sentiments. I think the trouble is that once you allow the leeway you suggest, there is a danger of descending into anarchy.
The forum exists to protect and project a positive image of MSFS. I can’t blame MS for wanting that, especially as they want a safe environment for young kids that may log on etc, given the “harmless” rating the game has.
I’ve been flagged so many times now because I tend to call a spade a spade. I’m in Yorkshire and that’s how we speak up here. No wonder others have difficulty in getting what I’m saying sometimes!
At least I’m not thin-skinned, but I don’t 'old wi fools and twits innit, especially on Ilkley Moor without a hat.
Moderation here is done primarily to ensure every message and user applies to the infamous Code of Conduct
Why? This forum is hosted and provided by Microsoft. So they decide what the standards are.
The flagging system is an aid for moderators to catch messages that are missed by the team. All moderators are volunteers who are not paid to spent an entire day on the forum.
What happens when a post when flagged also depends on the person who flags it. If the user has a good track record of ‘valid’ flags, the post is hidden temporarily, until a moderator takes a final decision. If a user that has a bad/clean flag record, the post usually stay visible at least until the flag is handled by one of the moderators.
[quote=“YearlingDeer319, post:18, topic:561782, full:true”] especially on Ilkley Moor without a hat.
Ha … If you take my advice (although I’m pretty sure you don’t need it ) I definitely wouldn’t venture to Ilkley Moor at the moment without a hat. A hat is definitely required there imo plus also maybe an Orion Parka for extra warmth